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Therapy: Progress is Slow and Painful

I started therapy around October 2014. It is a lot of talking and exposure to address my phobia of hospitals, needles, blood, etc. Prior to therapy simply seeing a medical needle disposal box or hearing my own heartbeat would cause anxiety. I've made a lot of success. I recently had a doctors appointment and I did not pass out.


Therapy is exhausting and today was probably the second hardest session yet.


My therapist suggested a dentist visit as exposure. I told her that I've never had an issue really with the dentist but I hadn't been in years. I started telling her about how great my dentist was. How I didn't even know I got a Novocain shot because he hid the needles on a tray behind you. This brought back a memory that I've never forgotten which was the first time I saw the actual shot. I laughed as I told my therapist about how funny it was that I had never even knew that I was getting these shots and that I turned unexpectedly and caught a glimpse of the gigantic (in my mind) shot. I told my therapist how I kind of freaked out because I thought maybe I was getting a different procedure. Then I stopped talking. A memory came back to me of my dentist's response to my crying. He held my nose and forced me to breath out of my mouth. He kept repeating "Calm down. You need to breath. Breath out of your mouth." and "If we don't finish this now you'll have to come back and do the whole thing again." I'm still shaking thinking about it. I also remembered how my mom had vaguely mentioned that they had for a bit knocked me out in the waiting room for the dentist, carried me in, and done whatever had to be done. I never followed up with it because I had assumed it was something when I was incredibly tiny. My therapist asked me to follow up with my mom and get as many details as I can. She recommended asking my mom to email it so I can wait to go over it in therapy since I had been so upset by the other memory.


Even in therapy I kept saying "He wasn't bad though. I remember calming down and I wasn't scared of him." My therapist suggested that maybe I was in shock and it was a part of my whole problem with needing to please others and seek their approval.

I just got off the phone with my mom and found out I was much older when they were knocking me out for the dentist. I wasn't 5-7 like I thought. I was in 4th-5th grade. I'm incredibly upset. I'm angry.


And as usual I apologize if this is incoherent at all.

[Please don't take this as a sign to insult my mom's parenting decisions. I'm already doing that. She is a flawed person but loves me and actually knows and supports that I'm in therapy.]

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